The United States government is committed to increasing transparency and openness in the agricultural and behavioral sciences. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provides leadership and funding to programs that support research, education, and extension efforts in a wide range of scientific fields. The Data Gateway allows users to access data, metrics, and information on research, education, and extension projects that have received NIFA grants. The University of Hawaii (UH) identified the need to cultivate new farmers who focus on commercial production and to help existing farms increase yields and profitability.
To this end, UH Extension created GoFarm Hawaii (GFH), a program that provides financial support for students interested in pursuing careers in agriculture. GFH is the only business education and consulting program dedicated to agriculture in the state, and it has been successful in developing new farmers and increasing demand for the program. In addition, Hawaii has implemented the Important Agricultural Land (IAL) program, which offers tax credits to farmland owners who meet certain criteria. This includes whether the land is capable of producing high agricultural yields on a sustained basis.
Kurashima and colleagues have studied how three traditional Native Hawaiian farming systems can contribute to meeting Hawaii's food sufficiency needs in the face of climate change problems. So, how much of Oahu's agricultural production is used for human consumption? According to Matthew Loke, administrator of the state Department of Agriculture, not all land labeled as agricultural is arable. However, the GFH program has been successful in developing new farmers who are well-prepared to face business and production challenges, and immediately contribute to the state's food sustainability goals. The efforts of the UH Extension team have paid off, with more than 40 GFH graduates now farming commercially.